This city uses taxes from marijuana sales for safe driving program

In Oregon, a city uses taxes from marijuana sales for safe driving program. Here’s how public safety is improving.

Officials in Portland, Oregon have announced that this city uses taxes from marijuana sales for safe driving program they recently launched. 

The new safety education campaign, known as Struck, aims to make Portland’s streets safer by getting drivers to slow down.

It is part of a larger effort to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries in the city dubbed Vision Zero.


The future of cannabis: Where we are heading vs. where we should go

Three major factors are in play for the future of cannabis: technological and scientific advancements, the federal government and social justice efforts.

The cannabis industry is at a crossroads. What was once primarily a social justice movement has transformed into a multi-billion industry, despite the direct conflict with federal law.

But thanks to federal regulations that are science-light and prejudice-heavy, there is still a whole lot we humans don’t know about cannabis and how it works, and a lot of businesses and individuals are trying to fill in the blanks with technology.


Oregon dispensaries cracking down on minors trying to buy weed

Oregon dispensaries cracking down on minors trying to buy weed reinforces that the cannabis industry is comprised of law-abiding business owners.

Oregon is getting much stricter on its age restrictions for legal weed. In particular, state authorities have made the penalties for selling to minors much heavier—and dispensaries seem to be responding.

With Oregon dispensaries cracking down on minors trying to buy weed, state authorities are optimistic that shops are adhering more closely to the state’s age regulations.

Weed Shops Pass the Test


Portland faces a shortage of industrial space as marijuana businesses snap up vacancies

Industrial space has become almost impossible to lease or buy in the greater Portland area, after cash-rich marijuana growers snapped up existing warehouses.

That's helped to force vacancy rates way down and prices way up, just as conventional businesses are ready to expand.

A few years ago Steve Arnold, who owns marinas in Yarmouth and Naples, had his pick of heated warehouses where he could store clients' boats in the winter. Then medical-marijuana growers started to compete for the same spaces. One moved into the 120,000 square foot facility where he was storing close to 200 boats.

That created some new challenges, such as the way the odor of high-quality marijuana can work its way into a boat's upholstery.


Oregon cannabis regulators to soon begin spot inspections

State regulators will soon start doing random inspections of cannabis businesses, starting with retailers, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

More details are forthcoming, said OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger.

Until now, inspections of legal cannabis businesses have largely been complaint-driven, Pettinger said. In December, the agency started checking whether businesses were selling marijuana to minors through "minor decoy" stings.

Although marijuana became legal under Oregon law in July 2015, OLCC did not start issuing retail licenses for recreational marijuana until October 2016.

The OLCC now has a baseline of information in its seed-to-sale Cannabis Tracking System to analyze deviations from the norm and ensure compliance.


A TED talks-styled educational cannabis series is coming to Portland

The cannabis honeymoon is over.

Weed is legal for adult use in nine states and the District of Columbia, and medical programs are available to Americans in 29 states. Meanwhile, according to recent polls by Gallup and The Wall Street Journal/NBC, between 60 and 64 percent of U.S. voters support cannabis legalization.


Oregon funds police grants to tackle marijuana black market

Oregon has been facing scrutiny from members of the federal administration for illegal marijuana market activity, and on Saturday, the last day of the legislative session, lawmakers took another step forward in addressing those issues.


Jeff Sessions brings the war on marijuana to Washington, DC

Few industries have grown with the speed and consistency of legal marijuana in recent years. Depending on the source, the legal cannabis industry is growing at between 23% and 35% annually, with North American sales estimated to push well past $20 billion a year by 2021. With numbers this large, it's no wonder why investors have piled into pot stocks and pushed their valuations considerably higher.

Support for cannabis has also shifted dramatically in what could be considered a relatively short time period. Gallup, which has polled Americans on their perception of weed since 1969, found this past October that 64% of respondents supported the national legalization of pot.


Cannabis summit inhales Oregon's plethora of pot

On Feb. 2, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, Billy Williams held a "Marijuana Summit" and invited Gov. Kate Brown, law enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, regulatory agencies and industry professionals to attend. Major props to Williams for holding it and inviting representation from the cannabis industry. It wasn't that long ago that such invites simply didn't happen, and it should be applauded.

Williams had called for the summit in an op-ed piece in the Oregonian, in which he addressed the rescinding of the Cole memorandum by Sessions, and ominously declared, "The move gives U.S. Attorneys wide latitude to develop district-specific strategies and deploy department resources without Washington, D.C. artificially declaring some cases off limits."


Law enforcement officials say Oregon is struggling to contain black market cannabis

The District Attorney and Sheriff of Deschutes County sent a letter to state cannabis regulators decrying overproduction and black market sales, continuing a string of legal weed struggles in Oregon.

It's been a rough couple of months for Oregon's legal weed industry. After uncovering a number of retailers selling adult-use cannabis to minors, things have only gotten worse, with an internal audit turning up significant regulatory issues and threats of federal enforcement thanks to underenforced overproduction and black market sales.


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